“Medicine,” said William Osler, “is an art underpinned by science.” Not only is medicine an inexact science, it can be either descriptive or prescriptive. The former, which explains how the body works, is a complicated and dynamic aspect of medicine, with roots deep in history. The latter is more recent and stems from institutional and commercial concerns. It tells us what to do, what to eat and how to be, and it worries us about things we can’t change. This is the science that could be hazardous to your health.
We will explore descriptive aspects of the science of medicine, learning how to decipher the complexities of physiology. We’ll investigate the prescriptive aspect too, thinking critically about the language, concepts, history and statistical phrasing behind it, and trying to separate fact from fiction.
Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.